Many of Trump’s anti-war, anti-regime changes supporters who are erroneously called pro-Russia (some are, some are just indifferent) are understandably on edge about certain things said by various Trump cabinet members and even Trump himself. There are many sceptics on this issue whom I respect deeply. I happen to remain optimistic and here’s why.
Today, Trump’s pick for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the Senate that Russia poses a threat to the US and that he didn’t understand that Crimea is, as it generally always has been, part of Russia. These are disheartening statements coming from a man the media paints as Putin’s best personal friend.
One could interpret Tillerson as toeing a deep state line, but even the most ardent sceptic ought to consider another possibility. Tillerson was considering his audience, a Senate which includes the two lunatics John McCain and Lindsey Graham who ought to be locked in a room together, given a little red button attached to a hot air balloon, let the balloon pop and tell them Moscow has been nuked, maybe that would shut them up.
Tillerson was a businessman and his current aim was to get confirmed and get his new job secured. He told the shareholders what they wanted to hear in order to get his directorship approved. His activities could well be that of a chess player rather than a sprinter and we all know what country is famous for producing the world’s best chess champions.
Trump today also went along with the line that Russia hacked the DNC but acted as though he didn’t particularly care. He claimed that the information derived from the hack turned out to be important and that essentially all countries hack each other. He seemed far more proud that the online security on the Republican’s computers were superior to that of the Democrats than he appeared to be concerned about Russia.
This too strikes me as something of a chess move, if Trump says that ‘Putin did it’ and then as he did, went on to say ‘Putin won’t do it any more’, then he can present his hopefully good relationship with President Putin as one based on mutual respect in contrast to Trump’s accurate portrayal of Putin not really respecting Obama. How could he after all? Obama commands so little respect. Indeed the only thing easier than taking credit for what one did, is taking credit for what one didn’t do but is happy about. ISIS do it all the time!
Far from being swallowed by the deep state the way that Obama’s ‘change’ turned out to mean ‘regime change’, I believe Trump is a very different man. During a debate with Hillary Clinton he publicly disagreed with his soon to be Vice President, Mike Pence who favoured a Clinton style policy in Syria.
Furthermore, Trump is not a man known for taking lectures from anyone. He’s single minded, proud, far more intelligent than he is portrayed in the mainstream media and pragmatic. I believe in my heart that like many pragmatic American politicians from Ross Perot to Ron Paul, he thinks the anti-Russian garbage is stupid, bad for business and in no way will help solve America’s many problems. In this sense, Trump isn’t pro-Russian as such but he realises that Russia could be a partner rather than an adversary and why not, isn’t having more friends than enemies a good thing in any context?
I believe that Trump will have a good relationship with Putin. Trump wants it and said so again today. Putin has said so too. There may be a rocky rhetorical road ahead, but I think Trump will be level headed towards Russia and will concentration on a nation-building programme that starts and ends with re-building the United States.